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Detailed documentation of the "World of Tomorrow" in beautiful Kodachrome.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Medicus (P.)
Audio/Visual: Si, C
Keywords: World's Fairs: New York, 1939-40; Amateur films
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Time Machine 1938
Realizing that these scenes were filmed over 70 years ago makes watching this moving and nostalgic. Does it make me a morbid sap to mention that I could not help but realize while watching that most of the people filmed here are now dead? And if not dead then very very old.
Mr Medicus has been panned by some thoughtless reviewers for taking too many shots of fountains, flags, people walking, women in the strip tease acts, etc, etc. I say to those people - SHUT UP!! You cannot pass judgement on a man's home movies taken 70+ years ago. He filmed what he thought was interesting at the time. YOU critcs were not there in 1938 so you cannot judge what was proper to film and what was not.
I found it very moving to see some fellow Americans from long long ago enjoy a day at the Fair. Fathers, Mothers, kids, grandparents. Most of the fair goers look well dressed and behaved and the children mindful of their parents. Compared to the modern lowlife degenerates that you meet with today in public I much rather prefer to rub shoulders with these people. The loudmouthed, tattooed animals that we have to endure at modern amusement parks are a devolution from what our Grandparent's generation were.
Eric in Descanso, CA. -
Subject: Shot Summary
R3-1: The Electrical Section, some of the Industrial and Food Buildings and the State Buildings, World's Fair flag. The Administration Building, Grover Whalen talking to another man near US flag, T: The Fair's most prominent citizen, Grover Whalen, flags waving, Trylon & Perisphere in the background, a nun, a ticket line, a shot of people's feet as they walk by, a yellow and orange ramp, Trylon & Perisphere from a distance, View from the Perisphere, Views down the mall. Along Constitution Mall, Trylon & Perisphere, statues of George Washington and the Four Freedoms, close-up of Trylon, Perisphere, & Helicline, “The Astronomer” (statue), Transportation for getting around at the Fair, The Medicine and Health Building, The Plaza of Light, The City Of Light presented by Consolidated Edison, "The Forward March of America," The Electric Utilities Building, The US Steel and General Electric Buildings, A Tesla Coil, The General Electric Building, "Dupont's Building." The Westinghouse Building, Inside Westinghouse: ("Yesterday - A world without electricity. Today - electrical freedom" mural, electric kitchen display, other exhibits, giant robot,) “The Time Capsule is to be opened in 5000 years,” Petroleum Industry with US Steel in the foreground. Petroleum Industry Building. Equitable Life Building. The Elgin Watches Building, Statue in foreground, Carrier Building in background. Interior shot of machinery and large, rotating globe. US Steel from the Carrier Building "Along the Avenue of Labor." (17:37)
Subject: Good amatuer view
While this color film could have used more editing (some scenes stretched too long) the viewer gets a good feel of the 1939-40 World's Fair held in Queens, NY. It was not only interesting watching what was at the fair, but looking at the people attending.(Within a year their life would be effected when our country went to war.)It is definately worth watching.
Subject: A thing of beauty
Just when I thought Mr. Medicus was nothing but a perv and the fair was nothing but mostly fair rides, comes this BEAUTIFUL reel, I was almost in tears at the images I was watching. ItÂs probably the best thing IÂve ever seen on Prelinger. LetÂs go bit by bit about this film shall we?
The nice thing about this first of all is that Medicus just shows us EVERYTHING here, so we start at the Worlds Fair offices! Nice builiding here.. Then we stop and say hi to Grover Whalen, the chairman of the WorldÂs Fair. HeÂs nice and seems open to MedicusÂs questions.. Then he drives off on a convertible, with US and WorldÂs flags flapping in the wind! Then, off to the fair we go! We see peopleÂs legs going to the fair!! Hmmm, thereÂs a nun, I wonder if she was stopping people from going? We stop at the main entrance gate to pay for our tickets (great!) we then see more people walking on ramps to the exhibits (by the way, this is more interesting then it sounds). Then we get to the fair grounds itself! I have no idea what these buildings are.. The pointed one? The round one? But theyÂre beautiful.. We then go up to the perisphere (Oh! Maybe thatÂs what the round building was called? Ok) and take a peek from there. I should take a break and talk about all the neat vehicles they had at the fair. Bus systems, monorails, little cars! All of these are just incredibly neat! After that little peek, (was that a giant sun dial?) we go down Constitution Mall, Very nice. Statues along bodies of water.. (The only nudity weÂll see it this reel!) I actually love this layout.. So beautiful! I wonder where the George Washington statue is now? From the distance, we can see people entering the perisphere! Fabulous! After more views of the grounds, we get a closer look at the perisphereÂs walkways, and MAN, those things were HIGH up. At least 5 stories up!! These walkways are amazing by the way, theyÂre just so beautifully structured, that, yes, I began to cry lol. We also get views of the structure with the sun and clouds, very nice shot.. We go back on ground to view some of the vehicles that I was talking about earlier.. Wee! Small cars! Big open buses! We finally stop at our first building.. The Science and Health building! Nice sculptures on the outside of it.. Then off we go to the Plaza of Light where theres spectacular water fountains, and an exhibit hall . The hall is a little dark lol. But what appears to happen is to show Joe public the city at night. Whoa, was that lightning? I think theyÂre talking about the future too, because it looks every place on the river looks to have itÂs own huge dock lol From there, we go to the truly spectacular building of the Forward March Of America. This building must have had a 25-30 foot waterfall at itÂs entrance.. The visitors entered / exited through a tunnel! This is AWESOME. We go into the building, and they have portholes so we can see the falls from indoors!! Weeee!! Guess nothing else of signifigance was in the building, because soon weÂre outside again, and now we get to the corperate halls! Yay! I wish I knew which hall we started in first. It has a tower with a metal orb on top.. Lots of people are going in, and no wonder! What looks to be a jim dandy electric show is happening! We see lots of arcs.. not too sure where theyÂre coming from.. We go outside again, and we see two giant switches.. And then the GE logo! So, letÂs go backÂ Hmm.. really not too sure if this was the GE building.. Anyways, after a quick stop at the unremarkable Dupoint building, (bah! They donÂt even have a building! Just cases to describe ÂBetter things for better livingÂ, we then go to the truly AWESOME Westinghouse building.. Hooo boy, ok here we go. After a glimpse at the sheer size of their hall (theyreÂs two of them) and a peek inside the windows (hmmm whatÂs that swinging thing?) we go inside to find a truly amazing set up, they have displays of what people looked like before electricity and after, the giant pendulum thing that looks THIS close to knocking someoneÂs head off, we see a partially naked liberty type of doll, and then we go to the kitchens of tommorow, which look remarkably the same as a 1950Âs kitchen would look, except of course, with all Westinghouse appliances. We get more shots of the dioramas in the placeÂ Oh yeah, the escalator. Not too sure if this is the first time an escalator was shown at a fair, but people seem darn mighty impressed at the ÂElectric stairwayÂ. We then go to a demo guy.. and heÂs got a ROBOT! HeÂs walking and talking! This robot is obviously a guy in a costume, and looks remarkably like the robot in the classic ÂLeave it to Roll-OhÂ. This was rather fun and bizarre! The robot totally adds a sense of weird science fiction to this whole film, with the Kodachrome, the Âfuture worldÂ exhibit of Westinghouse and so on. We then go back outside to see the time capsule they had constructed for the fair, which was supposedly going to be buried for 5000 years. Wow, so in 6050? Is the earth still going to be around? Plenty of people line up to take a peek in it.. Not too sure what they were ACTUALLY peeking at though. We then have a couple general fair shots, on the right hand side, I do believe is the US Steel pavilion.. we donÂt get to see L We see a hall for something that looks like ÂPelgin WatchesÂ, and then after that, some sort of cone shaped hall.. I was hoping it was going to be the US Defense hall, but I donÂt think so, I canÂt read the writing of what it is L Has a lot of funky machinery in it though. After another general shot, we have a title card that says ÂAlong the Avenue of LaborÂ, and thatÂs where this one ends.. Great1 I can hardly wait!! This oh man, is a MUST SEE on this site! Just beautiful.
Subject: Shot list: Administration, Electrical Section, some of the Industrial buildings
"This reel will take you to the Electrical Section, some of the Industrial and Food Buildings and the State Buildings."
World's Fair flag.
"The Administration Building."
Two men talking near US flag.
"The Fair's most prominent citizen, Grover Whalen."
Flags waving, Trylon & Perisphere in the background.
A ticket line.
A shot of people's feet as they walk by.
A busy yellow and orange ramp.
Trylon & Perisphere from a distance.
"View from the Perisphere." Views down the mall.
"Along Constitution Mall."
Trylon & Perisphere, statues of George Washington and the Four Freedoms.
Close-up of Trylon, Perisphere, & Helicline.
The Astronomer statue.
Transportation for getting around at the Fair.
The Medicine and Health Building.
"The Plaza of Light."
The City Of Light presented by Consolidated Edison.
"The Forward March of America."
The Electric Utilities Building.
The US Steel and General Electric Buildings.
A Tesla Coil.
The General Electric Building.
The Westinghouse Building.
Inside Westinghouse: "Yesterday - A world without elecrtricity. Today - electrical freedom" mural, Electric kitchen display, other exhibits, giant robot.
"Containing a record of our present civilization, The Time Capsule is to be opened in 5000 years."
Petrolium Industry with US Steel in the foreground.
Petrolium Industry Building.
Equitable Life Building.
The Elgin Watches Building.
Statue in foreground, Carrier Building in background.
Interior shot of machinery and large, rotating globe.
US Steel from the Carrier Building.
"Along the Avenue of Labor."
Subject: Giant Robot